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The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
This chapter provides a summary of the flux of carbon through various oceanic volcanic centers such as mid-ocean ridges and intraplate settings, as well as what these fluxes indicate about the carbon content of the mantle. By reviewing methods used to measure the carbon geochemistry of basalts and then to estimate fluxes, the chapter provides insight into how mantle melting and melt extraction processes are estimated. The chapter discusses how the flux of carbon compares with other incompatible trace elements and gases. From there, the chapter discusses whether the budget of carbon in the ocean mantle can be explained by primordial carbon or whether carbon recycling is required to balance the budget.
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